Sponsored Content
« The New Republic Finally Offers a Genuine Correction to Its Egregious Zimmerman Piece | Main | Bob Filner: I'm Taking Some Time Off From My Job As Mayor To Heal, To Reflect, and To Masturbate on Strangers »
July 26, 2013

The Ghost of Stephen Glass Haunts the Halls of The New Republic But Mostly Just Offers Them Advice on How to Cook a Story

I could add this as a post-script to the last post, but it's sort of substantial and I don't want people to overlook it.

What we have on our hands is clear, inarguable evidence of partisan-driven bad faith on the part of The New Republic's writers and editors, and probably its super-liberal ideologue owner, too.

The New Republic demonstrated its commitment to dishonesty in its first stealth edit.

Here was their first claim about the 311 call about an unattended 7 year old boy wading out into traffic :

. . . Zimmerman was an edgy basket case with a gun who had called 911 46 times in 15 months, once to report the suspicious activities of a seven year old black boy.

Emphasis in original. Now, the facts came out, and they were not pretty for TNR:

[M]ost egregiously, Zimmerman’s call (to the non-emergency police number) regarding a seven-to-nine-year-old black boy was placed because Zimmerman was “concerned for [the] well being” of that child, who was walking unaccompanied on a busy street (see page 37).

At this point TNR knows it has the story wrong -- way wrong -- and we know that because they now endeavor to clean up their article with a stealth edit.

So this:

. . . Zimmerman was an edgy basket case with a gun who had called 911 46 times in 15 months, once to report the suspicious activities of a seven year old black boy.

Becomes this:

. . Zimmerman was an edgy basket case with a gun who had called the polics 46 times in 15 months, once to report on a seven year old black boy.

Emphases in original, except for that usefully-vague prepositional phrase "report on," which I highlighted myself to point out their game: Whereas before they had been rather specific (and false) about the call, now they seek to cover up the error by employing the very broad phrase "report on," which could mean a whole range of things, including, by design, their original false claim of reporting the suspicious activities of a seven year old.

Note well they do not change the sentence from a false one to a true one; instead, they merely edit it so they cannot be charged with explicitly saying that Zimmerman feared the criminal capacity of a seven year old black boy.

But they edit it in such a way that a reader is invited to draw that conclusion anyway -- a conclusion TNR now knows is false. They scrub the part where TNR makes a false statement in support of a false conclusion, but then are careful to leave the false conclusion alive in the minds of their dwindling readership.

Or, as the Faculty Lounge says:

TNR replaced "report the suspicious activities of a seven year old black boy" with "report on a seven year old black boy." The charitable characterization of this edit is that it is very, very lawyerly. Yes, the TNR piece no longer explicitly falsely claims that GZ called the police about a black boy because GZ found the child suspicious. But in the context of a paragraph meant to demonstrate that "[v]igilante justice . . . is especially menacing to minority racial groups who are often sterotyped as criminals," and in the absence of disclosing the benign (indeed, laudatory) reason why GZ did call police, the reporting of GZ's call about "a seven year old black boy" — complete with incredulity italics — strongly implies what the article only technically no longer says: that Zimmerman "reported on" a young black child because Zimmerman stereotyped that child as a criminal.

Now, there's one more wrinkle here: Now having stealth-corrected and deliberately attempted to keep a false conclusion alive and having been called on it, the New Republic simply deleted the reference entirely, again, in another stealth-edit. As The Faculty Lounge says:

Still, the most egregious error has been corrected: all traces of the seven-year-old boy are at last gone from the online pages of TNR (if not from the memories of however many people read the piece in the first 10 days of its existence).

Except that's not really a correction; that's simply a case of Destroying the Evidence.

Of course they persisted in not acknowledging the gross mischaracterization in the original piece. They wanted to ensure that anyone who had read and believed their original claims still believed those claims; they didn't want to correct the false impression they had given their readers.

All they wanted to do is to get people to stop noting that they were printing deliberate lies-- not dispel the lies with actual truth and confession of error.

Only now, after they have been repeatedly embarrassed by their deliberate fabrications, do they do what they should have done from the start:

State the actual facts truthfully, and confess their previous false reporting.

This is not the behavior of a magazine seeking to print the Truth. This is the behavior a magazine which has decided Stephen Glass was just a man ahead of his time.

The Faculty Lounge has further thoughts on the need for Truth in reporting, and in science, too, which you'd think would be rather obvious, but apparently the Magazine of Stephen Glass hasn't yet heard.

digg this
posted by Ace at 02:41 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
[/i][/b]andycanuck (Vwz3I)[/s][/u]: "Charlie Kirk @charliekirk11 · 16h We have a ..."

Mary Poppins' Practically Perfect Piercing: "[i]BE VERY AFRAID: The RESTRICT Act Is Exactly Wha ..."

jewells45 fuck cancer: "Well if they do release the manifesto you can bet ..."

DB - girding the loins: "'al Gayeda' that's a winner ..."

Doof: "[i]Thank you, J.J.! Posted by: Village Idiot's Ap ..."

Cat Ass Trophy: "GOP campaign promise leading to 2024: We are goin ..."

Nova Local: "10 People are holding their kids out of school on ..."

davidt: "The good news is that parasites eventually kill th ..."

fd: ""I'm not an expert". To tell the truth, expert ..."

Biden's Dog sniffs a whole lotta malarkey,: "Bingo to Mr. Ramaswamy - It oft bears repeatin ..."

JT: " Thank you, J.J.! Posted by: Village Idiot's Appr ..."

Tonypete: "That'll get ya thrown of twitter Posted by: Never ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64